With the likes of Bertarelli and Coutts, there'll be plenty of action coming soon to Miami 27/2/07

The 2007 Acura Miami Grand Prix starts on 8 March and is set to bring about drama after the big boats battled it out at Key West in January.

The four grand prix groups taking part are Farr 40, Mumm 30, Melges 32 and IRC and the Acura Grand Prix Awards will be presented to the boats with the lowest combined cumulative points for Acura Key West and the Acura Miami Grand Prix.

Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino is the defending Farr 40 2006 Acura Grand Prix Champion, and is a Valencia challenger with Cup winning skipper Russell Coutts as his tactician. Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi won this year in Key West, giving the defending skipper a nice warm up before Valencia. Bertarelli has Brad Butterworth as his Miami tactician.

Given a ten race series with no discard, it’s anyone’s game in the Farr 40 class. In addition to Alinghi and Mascalzone Latino, contenders for the Farr 40 2007 Acura Grand Prix award are Flash Gordon, Twins, Opus One and Nerone.

Dan Meyers’ Farr 60 Numbers recent one point Key West win over Edgar Cato’s Hissar in the IRC 1 big boat class has him tied on points with Magic Glove, Colm Barrington’s new Ker 50 (Dublin, Ireland). Magic Glove also had a one point win in IRC 2. TP52’s Samba Pa Ti (John Kilroy) and Windquest (Doug DeVos) were close behind, making them serious contenders for the combined award.

All but one of the sixteen high-performance Melges 32s were on the line in Key West. Italian Claudio Recchi’s impressive win last January makes Let’s Roll the boat to beat. Mike Carroll and Marty Kullman’s New Wave (St. Petersburg, FL), Jeff Ecklund’s Star (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), and Simon Williams’ Fresh Guidance (Newport, RI) are close enough in points to be serious contenders for the combined trophy. Williams has World Champion Bill Hardesty on board in Miami.

There’s chance for a good battle between the Netherlands based Mean Machine (Peter DeRidder) crew and the Santa Barbara, California crew on Groovederci (Deneen Demourkas). Demourkas is the defending Acura Grand Prix champion and DeRidder is the defending Miami class champ, winning in 2006 by just two points, and was second in Key West, a tie-breaker away from the class win. The Mumm 30s also race with no discard.

Racing runs from 8 – 11 March just south of Miami, where there’ll be plenty of action in this ten race series.